Don’t let those Midwestern manners fool you: Some Illinoisans have a dirty mind, the vanity plates rejected by the secretary of state’s office over the last year show.
Nearly 400 customized license plates were rejected in 2022, Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias’s office said in a Monday news release. Most got the ax for their “tawdry, lewd or offensive nature,” Giannoulias’ office said.
License plates like “PEEPEE” and “GOTPOOP” got dumped before ever getting the chance to grace the state’s roads.
Other rejected license plates got a little more risque. “SUKIT,” “DUCKYOU,” and “COKAIN,” were among the 383 plate requests shot down by the secretary of state office, run last year by now-retired Jesse White.
[ From 2016: Illinois drivers so vain, but not all plates get state OK ]
“We love the creativity and pride Illinoisans take in choosing their personalized license plates,” Giannoulias said in the release. “Most plate requests are approved, but a small percentage fail to meet the standards of good taste and decency and are rejected because they violate the state’s vehicle code.”
Personalized plate requests are reviewed by a panel in the Vehicle Services Department. The “ever-growing” rejection list that blocked proposals are added to is over 7,000 license plates long, the secretary of state’s office said. When the requests are rejected, drivers have an opportunity to explain their proposed plate so the decision might be overturned, Giannoulias’ office added. But some cases are cut and dry.
For instance, one might not feel too safe driving behind a car with the rejected “ICUTU” or “BITEU” plates. Commuters might also want to keep their distance from a car whose plate says “FARTING,” which was also blocked.
The whole list of rejected custom plates shows the salacious submissions often focus on promiscuity and male anatomy. Many attempted to place curse words next to Abraham Lincoln. Some of the rejected plates took unsubtle jabs at President Joe Biden, former President Donald Trump and Gov. J.B. Pritzker, mixing poor spelling with abbreviated f-bombs.
Other rejected plates seem inspired by the parlance of Chicago, writing “DABEERS” and “JAGOFFS.” But a few plates were likely rejected because they were hard to read, such as “WMWWWMW.”
The people who applied for the rejected plates were willing to spend for them. Vanity plates featuring all letters cost $94 more than standard random plates, plus another $13 a year to be renewed. Fortunately, the rejections are an exception in Illinois. Over 54,000 customized plates were requested in 2022, according to the secretary of state’s office.